When you’re looking for a new kitchen, you might be stuck for choice on the type of kitchen you could go for. The list is almost endless: Shaker kitchens, slab kitchens, contemporary kitchens, classic kitchens, modern kitchens. The list goes on and on and on.
However, there is a very unique and popular choice that you might want to consider, especially if you have an old or more traditional-looking home. For something that will fit the feel of your home, as well as being very useful for 21st century living, you should consider a country kitchen. So what are the features of a country kitchen, and how will they be useful for your new kitchen?
One feature of a country kitchen is the use of traditional and natural materials. Not only are more traditional methods of construction used, but sustainable and natural materials are also carrying on the tradition. They’re also seeing a resurgence in popularity due to their sustainable nature, especially when it comes to the use of woods like oak, pine and maple in the kitchen cabinets and countertops. Stone is another popular material, used for flagstone flooring, and marble can be seen in worktops. Ceramic tiles made from clay are also popular to use in backsplashes.
Open shelving is a hallmark of country kitchens. Instead of kitchen cabinets with closed doors, open shelves are used to display dishes, glassware, and other kitchen essentials. This not only makes it easy to access items but also adds a sense of charm and a vintage feel to the room. If you have decorative crockery or glassware, it’s an excellent opportunity to have them on display.
Open shelving can be used alongside kitchen cabinets too, to allow you to store items away, such as food, that you don’t want to have on full view. And to enhance the look of your open shelving, consider using wooden brackets and open shelves made of reclaimed wood.
A large, deep farmhouse sink is another classic feature of a country kitchen. These sinks, also known as apron-front sinks, not only look beautiful but are also highly functional. They provide ample space for washing dishes, pots, and pans, making them a practical addition to any kitchen. They’re also made out of white ceramics, looking much more in place in a country kitchen than an equivalent one made out of stainless steel.
In a country kitchen, there’s often an emphasis on creating a comfortable and inviting space for family and guests to gather. This may include a cosy dining nook in the corner with hardwood table and chairs, or even a built-in window seat with cushions and throw pillows.
Traditionally, food would be consumed at this table if space wasn’t available for a dining room, and it’s a great space for casual dining as well as weekend breakfasts and warm lunches.
Soft Colour Palette
Country kitchens typically feature soft, muted colour palettes. Shades of white, cream, pale blue, and soft green are common choices for walls and cabinetry. These colours contribute to the airy and relaxed feel of the space, while also allowing natural light to bounce around the room. The soft colours more closely match natural tones, whereas modern kitchens will tend to use bolder, contrasting colours.
Warm and inviting lighting is essential in a country kitchen. Pendant lights and wall lighting with rustic or vintage designs and warm, yellow lighting can enhance the overall ambiance. Consider adding dimmer switches to control the intensity of the lighting, allowing for both task lighting and a cosy, relaxed atmosphere.
A kitchen island can serve as the heart of a country kitchen. It offers both functionality and a central gathering point, for food preparation as well as entertaining. Often crafted from reclaimed wood or topped with natural stone, it provides extra workspace and storage. Incorporating features like butcher block tops or built-in wine racks adds to its rustic allure.
A country kitchen often features a traditional cooking range, which could be something rustic like an Aga, or could be something with a vintage feel such as a modern range cooker. Modern range cookers feature a number of stoves on the top and plenty of oven compartments at the bottom, and come in a mixture of styles, including retro designs that look right at home in a country kitchen.
Complementing your cupboard doors are the handles adorning them, adding a decorative element to the kitchen whilst also making the doors easy to open. Handles in a country kitchen often take on traditional designs, such as cup handles or antique-style knobs, crafted from materials like brass or wrought iron. These handles contribute to the vintage allure while providing functionality.
Wooden flooring stands as a quintessential element in a country kitchen, exuding warmth and character. Wide-plank hardwood floors, whether in oak, pine, or reclaimed timber, infuse the space with a natural and inviting ambiance. The inherent imperfections and patina of aged wood add to the authenticity of the space, creating a sense of history and comfort.
An alternative flooring option, often seen in country kitchens, is stone or brick. These materials evoke a timeless elegance while adding texture and durability to the space. Natural stone tiles or brick pavers, in earthy tones like terracotta or slate, impart a rustic charm and serve as a durable foundation for the kitchen’s activities.
Soft Furnishings and Finishes
As well as hard furnishings to create your authentic country kitchen, what really makes a country kitchen is the soft furnishes you can add to the room to complete it. Introducing textiles through curtains, tablecloths, and tea towels brings a soft touch to the space. Flowing curtains in light fabrics, such as muslin or linen, soften window frames and diffuse incoming light. Coordinated tablecloths or placemats in natural textures or chequered patterns contribute to the kitchen’s inviting and homely character.
If you have any seating in your kitchen, you should also decide what colours and patterns feature on the fabric of the seat itself – or if it’s a wooden chair – the back cushion or padded seat you include with it.